Airlines workers struggles

Delta Airlines pilots hold protest over stalled contract talks

By Shannon Jones, 25 June 2016

With the airline recording massive profits, pilots are seeking to recoup concessions including average pay cuts of over 40 percent.

Air France announces pay cuts for pilots

By Anthony Torres, 14 May 2016

The cuts at the airline are the product of the betrayal of the 2014 pilots strike by the National Union of Airline Pilots.

Belgian air traffic controllers launch wildcat strike at Brussels airport

By Robert Stevens, 14 April 2016

The working class throughout Belgium and Europe must come to the defense of the striking air traffic controllers, who have taken a courageous stand against attacks on retirement.

Australia: Qantas reaps record profits by slashing jobs and wages

By Terry Cook, 5 March 2016

Deep cuts have been imposed on the airline’s workers through a combination of intimidation and the collaboration of the trade unions.

Pakistan steps up privatization drive after unions suppress airline strike

By Sampath Perera, 20 February 2016

Nawaz Sharif’s government has seized on the unions’ betrayal of the PIA anti-privatization strike to victimize hundreds of the most militant workers.

Mechanics at United Continental reject sellout contract

By Shannon Jones, 18 February 2016

By a 93 percent margin workers rejected a contract proposal that would have created a two-tier system with drastically lower pay and benefits for new hires.

2016 will be a year of escalating class struggle

By Jerry White, 4 January 2016

Class conflict will become an ever-more dominant feature of life in 2016 as the ruling classes in the US and around the world demand that workers pay for the global economic crisis.

Lufthansa flight attendants threaten strike

By Dietmar Henning, 6 November 2015

The flight attendant union UFO announced a strike starting on Friday.

German pilots struggle: The right to strike requires a socialist perspective

By Ulrich Rippert, 11 September 2015

The decision of the labor court in the German state of Hessian to forbid Lufthansa pilots from striking is an attack on the right to strike directed against all workers.

Corruption and bankruptcy at the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport

By Gustav Kemper, 17 August 2015

Public prosecutors are investigating construction company Imtech on suspicion of embezzlement, bribery, price-fixing and false accounting.

German pilots’ union capitulates to Lufthansa

By Dietmar Henning, 31 July 2015

The cockpit union has sold out the pilots, giving the company even more than it was demanding, including raising the retirement age and cutting costs.

New York City airport workers’ job action called off by union

By Alan Whyte, 24 July 2015

A planned strike of 1,200 poorly paid New York City airport workers was called off after a deal was reached with the SEIU to achieve “labor peace.”

Behind the airline workers strike at Alitalia

By Mariane Arens, 8 April 2015

While the airlines continue to attack employees’ wages and working conditions, the unions pursue a purely nationalist strategy directed against their own members.

Injured Boeing contract worker dies in Washington state

By Angelo Bosworth and Hector Cordon, 11 December 2014

Ken Otto died Sunday due to injuries suffered while working on a Boeing jet in November

Lufthansa pilots in Germany walk out again

By Dietmar Henning, 4 December 2014

Pilots and other workers are fighting company plans to expand operations of its low-cost subsidiaries and slash jobs and wages.

After flight attendants reject contract, American Airlines makes offer to pilots

By Shannon Jones, 14 November 2014

Initial reports indicate pilots are overwhelmingly opposed to the proposal, which removes profit-sharing.

American Airlines flight attendants reject contract

By Shannon Jones, 11 November 2014

The rejection of the union-recommended deal comes after more than a decade in which airline workers have suffered one round of wage, benefit and pension cuts after another.

Germany: Lufthansa pilots take renewed strike action

By Stefan Steinberg, 21 October 2014

While the immediate issue in the pilots’ dispute is cuts in early retirement provision, the background is the major changes in the air industry that affect not only pilots but all airline workers in Europe and across the globe.

One-day strike by Lufthansa pilots in Germany

By Helmut Arens, 2 October 2014

The Lufthansa pilots’ strike was directed against the attempt by the corporation to carry through attacks on retirement benefits for 5,400 pilots.

Pilots union pushes for sell-out of Air France pilots strike

By Alex Lantier and Stéphane Hugues, 29 September 2014

The unions and the Socialist Party government are desperately pushing pilots to accept a deal that would pave the way to deep cuts in wages and conditions.

Lufthansa insists on pension cuts for pilots

By Dietmar Henning, 26 September 2014

At talks Monday there was no indication of a deal as Lufthansa refuses to budge from its original plans to cut pilots’ retirement provisions.

Air France pilots’ strike hardens despite government climbdown

By Antoine Lerougetel, 26 September 2014

The government’s decision, faced with the pilots’ strike, to force Air France to abandon plans for a new low-cost subsidiary signals a major political crisis in France.

Air France pilots strike against low wages

By Antoine Lerougetel, 20 September 2014

Seventy-five percent of Air France pilots have been on strike since Monday.

German train drivers union to hold warning strike Tuesday

By Dietmar Henning, 8 September 2014

The German Trade Union Federation (DGB) and the government have announced measures to prevent strikes by pilots, train drivers and many other workers.

German media seeks to whip up public opinion against pilots and train drivers

By Marianne Arens, 1 September 2014

The goal of German airline and rail unions, including smaller unions like Cockpit, is to maximise the profits of Lufthansa and German Railways at the expense of the workforce.

Search for missing Malaysia Airlines plane enters third week

By Tom Peters, 22 March 2014

Strategic rivalries and state secrecy continue to mar the search for MH370.

Australian unions assist Qantas airways to sack workers

By Will Morrow, 15 March 2014

The Australian Council of Trade Unions immediately hailed the ASU agreement as a template for implementing all 5,000 Qantas job cuts.

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 may have veered off course

By Peter Symonds, 15 March 2014

Search operations are now focussed on areas of the Indian Ocean, hundreds of kilometres to the west of MH370’s last known position.

The assault on Qantas workers and the global airline crisis

By Patrick O’Connor, 7 March 2014

The only way that Qantas workers can defend their jobs and conditions is through a unified struggle with airline workers internationally against the global airline conglomerates.

Australian trade unions move to enforce Qantas layoffs, wage cuts

By Patrick O’Connor, 1 March 2014

The unions have no problem with making workers bear the cost of the Qantas crisis, but want to maintain their privileged position within the airline industry.

Australia: Qantas Airways to cut 5,000 jobs and impose wage freeze

By James Cogan, 27 February 2014

The job destruction flows directly from the cut-throat competition for market share and profits among rival transnational airline alliances since the 2008 global financial crisis.

Australian airline Qantas reduced to “junk” status

By Patrick O’Connor, 10 January 2014

Moody’s announcement comes as even more job cuts at the airline are threatened.

Machinists’ union rams through sellout deal at Boeing

By Shannon Jones, 4 January 2014

The International Association of Machinists (IAM) forced a new vote on essentially the same deal workers rejected by a two-to-one margin in November.

Reject IAM-Boeing blackmail!

Form a rank-and-file committee to defeat concessions

By the Socialist Equality Party, 3 January 2014

The following SEP statement is being destributed to Boeing workers in the states of Washington and Oregon who are voting today on a contract extension.

New offensive being prepared against Boeing machinists

By Hector Cordon, 5 December 2013

In the wake of Boeing’s failed attempt to wrest deep concessions from its workers, the unions are ramping up a campaign to convince the manufacturer to keep production of its new airplane in Washington State.

Boeing workers decisively reject sellout contract

By Shannon Jones, 15 November 2013

Boeing workers in the Pacific Northwest voted 67 to 33 percent against a concession-laden 8-year contract extension.

Air France to lay off 2,800 workers

By Pierre Mabut, 8 October 2013

On September 18, Air France-KLM announced the elimination of a 2,800 jobs as part of its “Transform 2015” restructuring plan.

Investigation of San Francisco plane crash underway

By Gabriel Black and James Brewer, 11 July 2013

The National Transportation Safety Board has begun releasing details of its investigation into the crash landing of a South Korean airliner at San Francisco International Airport.

Two dead, 181 injured in San Francisco plane crash

By Gabriel Black, 8 July 2013

On Saturday, Asiana Airlines flight 214 crash landed at San Francisco International Airport.

One-day Lufthansa strike grounds flights in Germany

By Ernst Wolff, 24 April 2013

A strike by Lufthansa ground crew on Monday led to the cancellation of flights at airports across Germany.

Qantas Australia sacks another 500 maintenance engineers

By Patrick O’Connor, 9 November 2012

With the support of the federal Labor government, and the collaboration of the trade unions, Qantas is imposing layoffs on a near-monthly basis.

Lufthansa pushes ahead with job cuts

By Ernst Wolff, 30 October 2012

Lufthansa management has announced details of its plan to outsource and cut jobs.

Federal judge bans strike by Seattle airport refueling workers

By Hector Cordon, 24 October 2012

A federal injunction has blocked a strike by workers who fuel 75 percent of the planes at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

India’s Kingfisher Airlines workers demand unpaid salaries

By Sathish Simon and Kranti Kumara, 19 October 2012

Several hundred employees at privately-owned Kingfisher Airlines in India have engaged in strikes and other job actions over the past month to demand back wages owed to them since March.

Boeing professional workers overwhelmingly reject proposed contract

By Angelo Bosworth, 11 October 2012

Boeing engineers and technicians vote overwhelmingly against the company’s proposals.

Pilots union pushes through restructuring plan at Air France

By Francis Dubois, 24 August 2012

The National Airline Pilots Union has pushed through an agreement supporting management’s objectives at Air France.

Lufthansa flight attendants vote to strike

By Ernst Wolff, 14 August 2012

After a year of wrangling over a new pay agreement, a vast majority of Lufthansa flight attendants voted in favour of strike action.

Air France announces 5,000 job cuts

By Antoine Lerougetel, 28 June 2012

Air France-KLM will cut its workforce by 10 percent the end of 2013

Air Canada pushes Aveos into bankruptcy, eliminating 2,600 jobs

By Laurent Lafrance, 12 May 2012

Having mounted only a token campaign against the closure of the airplane maintenance company Aveos, the machinists’ union is working alongside the Quebec Liberal government to find a buyer to relaunch the company at its members’ expense.

Thousands of jobs at risk at Lufthansa

By Elizabeth Zimmermann, 2 May 2012

The Lufthansa Executive Board announced a new savings program to cut at least €1.5 billion by 2014.

Australian workers locked out by pharmaceutical company

By Peter Byrne, 14 March 2012

The Sigma dispute has become a test case for the elimination of penalty rates and other workplace conditions won through previous struggles.

German labour court bans Frankfurt airport strike

By Helmut Arens, 2 March 2012

Only hours after a Frankfurt labour court banned a scheduled solidarity strike by air traffic controllers at the city’s airport, the same court also proscribed the ongoing strike by ground crew.

Australia: Qantas engineering union imposes sell-out deal

By Terry Cook, 5 January 2012

Having shut down all industrial action, the union has reached an agreement that meets all of the central demands of Qantas management.

Australia: Qantas imposes arbitration to enforce restructuring

By Terry Cook, 23 November 2011

By sending the dispute into arbitration, the airline has obtained precisely what it wanted when it took the unprecedented step of grounding its entire fleet.

Australian airline unions seek deal with Qantas

By Terry Cook and Mike Head, 16 November 2011

Behind closed doors, the unions are working closely with the company to finalise enterprise bargaining agreements that will facilitate the wholesale destruction of jobs and conditions.

A global political strategy for Qantas workers

By James Cogan, 5 November 2011

In every part of the world, jobs, wages and conditions are being slashed as rival carriers cut costs and fight to maintain profitability amid an escalating global economic crisis.

Australian corporate elite hails Qantas assault

By Mike Head, 1 November 2011

The financial markets regard Qantas’s actions as a test case for the type of assault that must be implemented throughout all industries.

Qantas Airways grounds fleet to impose far-reaching restructuring

By James Cogan, 31 October 2011

Qantas is operating with a thoroughly worked-out global strategy that enjoys the full backing of the financial and corporate establishment, the Labor government and the courts.

Who owns Qantas?

By James Cogan, 31 October 2011

The executives serve as the direct representatives of finance and carry out their dictates.

Australian Labor government threatens Qantas airline workers

By Terry Cook and James Cogan, 17 October 2011

Openly backed by the Gillard government, Qantas management is preparing for the wholesale elimination of much of the Qantas-badged operations.

Union scuppers Air Canada strike, in response to fresh Tory attack

By Carl Bronski, 14 October 2011

The Canadian Union of Public Employees rescinded strike authorization for 6,800 Air Canada flight attendants, just hours after the Conservative government had their impending job action declared illegal.

Australia: Qantas uses Labor’s laws to lock out thousands of workers

By Terry Cook, 21 September 2011

Having had ample notice of a four-hour stoppage by ground crew, Qantas imposed a lockout and swung a strike-breaking plan into action, using management personnel.

Qantas to destroy 1,000 jobs as part of shift to Asia

By Patrick O’Connor, 17 August 2011

The measures amount to a declaration of war against Qantas workers, with the company’s directors working closely with the Labor government and the trade unions to suppress all opposition.

Qantas management threatens “ruthless” restructure

By Terry Cook, 1 August 2011

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has foreshadowed major attacks on jobs and conditions by the Australian airline.

Australian airline foreshadows major restructuring and shift to Asia

By Terry Cook, 2 July 2011

The fact that the speech was delivered to the national press club indicates that Qantas anticipates the backing of the Labor government in any confrontation with its workforce.

Irish unions work to sell out pilots at Aer Lingus

By Jordan Shilton, 3 June 2011

Trade unions at Aer Lingus are trying to block a strike by the airline’s pilots.

Qantas CEO escalates provocative campaign against workforce

By Alex Messenger and Patrick O’Connor, 21 April 2011

Qantas chief Alan Joyce denounced the resistance of pilots, engineers, and ground crew to his airline’s plans to undermine wages and conditions as “nothing short of a Kamikaze campaign.”

Australia: Qantas gears up for major assault on airline workers

By Noel Holt, 9 April 2011

Qantas has rejected demands for “job security” clauses in work contracts and is training management personnel as strike breakers.

Australia: Qantas pilots vote for industrial action to defend jobs

By Terry Cook, 23 February 2011

In a bid to fight the company’s aggressive cost-cutting, Qantas pilots have authorised their union to organise industrial action to insert a job security clause in a new enterprise agreement.

A reply to a letter on the Spanish air traffic controllers’ struggle

By Jerry White, 8 December 2010

The WSWS replied to a letter writer from Spain defending the Zapatero government’s attack on air traffic controllers.

Spanish air traffic controller: “We have arrived at something akin to Stalinist Russia, the Stasi or Hitler’s SS”

8 December 2010

This correspondence has been sent to the WSWS by a Spanish air traffic controller. It details the impact of the emergency legislation imposed by the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) government, bringing in military control of airports, including forced labour at gunpoint.

A reply to a letter on the Spanish air traffic controllers’ struggle

8 December 2010

The WSWS received this letter from Spain defending the Zapatero government’s military suppression of the air traffic controllers and criticizing the December 6 WSWS Perspective, “The threat of dictatorship in Spain” by Robert Stevens. A reply by WSWS writer Jerry White follows.

Spanish air traffic controller: “We are living now like under Franco”

By Chris Marsden, 7 December 2010

A number of Spanish air traffic controllers contacted the World Socialist Web Site to describe the state terror employed against them under the emergency measures imposed by the Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) government.

Spanish government sends army to break air traffic controllers strike

By Alejandro López and Alex Lantier, 4 December 2010

Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero signed an order to send army units to occupy control towers in airports around Spain, to break a wildcat strike by air traffic controllers.

Unite bureaucracy seeks to end British Airways strike on management’s terms

By Robert Stevens, 27 May 2010

British Airways cabin crew staff began a five-day strike on Monday, the latest action in an ongoing dispute with the airline.

Ban on strikes at British Airways overturned, but dangers persist

By Jordan Shilton, 22 May 2010

The court of appeals ruled two to one Thursday in favour of the Unite union’s appeal overturning a high court decision banning strike action by 12,000 cabin crew at British Airways (BA).

Spanish airport strikers given two-year probationary sentences

By Paul Mitchell, 3 April 2010

Twenty-three Spanish airport workers who went on strike at Barcelona airport on July 28, 2006 and occupied the runways have been given two-year probationary sentences.

Ireland: Trade unions paved way for mass sackings at Aer Lingus

By Steve James, 23 March 2010

The conditions in which Aer Lingus’ was emboldened to sack 1,200 cabin crew were created by the trade union bureaucracy in Ireland.

Spanish airport strikers face imprisonment for sedition

By Vicky Short and Paul Mitchell, 20 March 2010

The charges brought against 27 Spanish airport workers, under an anti-terror law passed during Franco’s fascist dictatorship, represent a major offensive against democratic rights.

Australia: Boeing unions seek to impose Sydney plant closure

By Richard Phillips, 19 March 2010

Two of Australia’s largest trade unions are attempting to secure an orderly closure of the Milperra Boeing plant, at the direct expense of 350 jobs.

Irish airline Air Lingus sacks hundreds of workers

By our correspondent, 12 March 2010

On Tuesday Republic of Ireland airline Aer Lingus announced 670 job cuts in a major attack on its workforce.

Australia: Qantas aircraft engineers vote for industrial action

By Terry Cook, 7 November 2009

About 190 professional engineers at Qantas voted by 98 percent to take industrial action after seven months of negotiations for a new work agreement failed to resolve issues over pay and working conditions.

Australian government’s industrial “cop” prosecutes union over Qantas strikes

By Mike Head, 3 November 2009

The Rudd government’s Fair Work Ombudsman and Qantas are seeking fines, multi-million dollar compensation

Hearing on Buffalo air crash—schedules, conditions, pay: “a recipe for an accident”

By David Walsh, 14 May 2009

Despite company and media efforts to scapegoat the airplane’s pilots for the February 12 crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407, two days of National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) hearings into the tragedy have established the essential culpability of Colgan Air and the US airline industry.

Australia: Rudd government and unions back Qantas as it axes 1,750 jobs

By Richard Phillips, 20 April 2009

Qantas has responded to a predicted profit freefall this year by axing 1,750 jobs from its 34,000-strong workforce and is now preparing, with union support, for a major restructuring of the company.

The social paradox in the “miraculous” rescue on the Hudson

17 January 2009

It is impossible not to be moved by accounts of the crash Thursday afternoon of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River near Manhattan and its aftermath, the successful rescue of all 150 passengers and 5 crew members.

Safety incidents plague Australian airline

Air safety deregulation

By Terry Cook, 22 September 2008

A string of safety incidents has raised mounting questions about an underlying deterioration of maintenance and safety standards at Qantas, the privatised Australian airline.

German trade union officials attack striking Lufthansa pilots

By Jörg Victor and Ulrich Rippert, 22 May 2001

Lufthansa pilots continued their ongoing industrial action against the German airline with a 24-hour strike May 17. A Lufthansa spokesman confirmed that more than 600 of the airline's 1,100 scheduled flights had been cancelled by early afternoon.

Bush bans strike by Northwest Airlines mechanics

By Alan Whyte, 13 February 2001

President George W. Bush will legally prohibit Northwest Airlines mechanics from striking if they do not reach a contractual agreement by March 13. This decision reverses a National Mediation Board (NMB) ruling that would have allowed union members to walk off the job that day. The presidential mandate extends the legally required “cooling-off” period for another 60 days, forcing workers to remain on the job through at least mid-May.

Concorde—its history and tragedy

By David Walsh, 28 July 2000

Tuesday's crash of an Air France Concorde outside Paris seized the attention of people all over the world. Anyone who viewed the broadcast images of the tragedy could not but help feel horrified and saddened, first and foremost at the thought of the passengers' terrible fate, but also by the impact of such an event on the living—the stricken human beings, workmen and local residents standing near the smoking wreckage in Gonesse. It was a chastening and sobering sight.

Safety concerns raised in aftermath of Concorde crash

By Stefan Steinberg, 28 July 2000

Details are emerging concerning the crash of Air France Concorde Flight AF 4590 on Tuesday afternoon. As the plane left the ground at Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris for its scheduled flight to New York, the pilot reported to the control tower that one of the plane's four jet engines was defective. Eyewitnesses reported that flames were already visible from one wing as the plane was completing its takeoff.

Northwest Airlines flight attendants ratify agreement

By Cory Johnson, 6 June 2000

Northwest Airlines flight attendants ratified a new five-year agreement by a 68 percent margin last week, with some 87 percent of 11,000 members of Teamsters Local 2000 voting. The agreement provides for initial pay raises of from 8 to 27.7 percent with the higher raises distributed to the lowest paid flight attendants.

Flight attendants union granted major concessions to avoid US Airways strike

By Jerry White, 1 April 2000

Details are beginning to emerge about the concessions the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) gave to US Airways in order to reach a tentative agreement last Saturday, March 25 and avert a strike by 10,000 union members against the nation's sixth largest airline.

US Airways and union reach agreement

Flight attendants speak on issues

By Paul Scherrer, 27 March 2000

The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) and US Airways reached a tentative agreement early Saturday morning, averting a threatened strike and shutdown of the airline.

Strike deadline approaches at US Airways

Airline threatens to shut down operations

By Paul Scherrer, 24 March 2000

Thousands of flight attendants are taking part in informational pickets and candlelight vigils at airports along the US East Coast as the expiration of a 30-day cooling-off period in the contract dispute between the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) and US Airways approaches at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 25. A federal mediator has conducted talks between the company and union since last Friday, March 17.

Teamsters suspend negotiating committee member for opposing concessions to Northwest Airlines

By Cory Johnson, 21 March 2000

The president of Teamsters Local 2000, representing 11,000 flight attendants involved in contract talks with Northwest Airlines, suspended Andy Damis, a member of the union's negotiating team, for revealing the local's contract proposals to union members.

Boeing engineers ratify contract

By Cory Johnson, 21 March 2000

Boeing engineers and technical workers voted by a 70 percent margin to approve a March 17 tentative agreement ending the 40-day strike by nearly 20,000 members of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA).

Northwest Airlines fires flight attendants accused of organizing job action

"The company loves to use these intimidation tactics"

By Cory Johnson and Jerry White, 14 March 2000

Northwest Airlines announced March 8 that they have fired 12 flight attendants for allegedly organizing a sick-out over New Year's to protest failed contract negotiations. Teamsters Local 2000, which represents 11,000 flight attendants at Northwest, put the figure of fired attendants at 18, along with another 6 attendants who resigned following interrogation by company officials.

Boeing imposes last wage offer on striking engineers

By Cory Johnson, 7 March 2000

In an effort to weaken the month-long strike by more than 17,000 engineers and technical workers, Boeing Corp. announced that it was moving to impose the terms of its last contract offer and would grant pay raises to workers who cross the picket line and return to the job. The action is the latest signal that Boeing is determined not to back down in the strike by members of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA).

Action against dissidents in airline contract struggle

US court orders seizure of Northwest flight attendants' home computers

By Jerry White, 11 February 2000

Northwest Airlines last week began court-authorized searches of the home computers of flight attendants whom the airline suspects organized a sick-out over the New Year's holiday. Two computer forensic experts, hired by Northwest, seized the computers of a rank-and-file flight attendant who operates a web site and electronic bulletin boards, and copied the hard drives from the computers of 21 individuals, including private e-mail messages. The investigators also spent two hours searching computers at the Bloomington, Minnesota offices of Teamsters Local 2000, which represents Northwest's 11,000 flight attendants.